Friday, October 03, 2014
Did climate change cause ebola?
Some nitwit had to make that link but it's a monumentally stupid thing to claim. Since there has been no climate change for 18 years, it cannot have caused ebola. Something that does not exist cannot cause anything
In a report on a mysterious virus causing paralysis in children that aired on “CBS This Morning” earlier this week, Dr. David Agus, a medical contributor for CBS News and a University of Southern California medical professor, discussed a so-called enterovirus that is believed to behind paralysis and muscle weakness in nine Colorado children.
The virus, known as Enterovirus D68, had spread throughout the country. Agus urged parents that suspect their child may be infected with this virus to keep their children home from school. However, “CBS This Morning” co-anchor Charlie Rose asked how that particular virus, in addition to the Ebola virus, have been able to spread in recent weeks.
“Well, the world is flat,” Agus explained. “Right now, anybody can get on a plane and end up anywhere in this country and spread these viruses. And we have to be aware of it. We don't know exactly why there was a dramatic spread this year. But something is happening now. We have multiple viruses. And together with global climate change, things are changing in the virus world and we have to pay attention.”
Satellite Data: No Global Warming For Past 18 Years
The Earth’s temperature has “plateaued” and there has been no global warming for at least the last 18 years, says Dr. John Christy, professor of atmospheric science and director of the Earth System Science Center (ESSC) at the University of Alabama/Huntsville.
“That’s basically a fact. There’s not much to comment on,” Christy said when CNSNews.com asked him to remark on the lack of global warming for nearly two decades as of October 1st.
The "plateau" is evident in the climate record Christy and former NASA scientist Roy Spencer compiled using actual raw temperature data collected from 14 instruments aboard various weather satellites.
CNSNews.com asked Christy why the United Nations’ climate models, which all predicted steeply rising temperatures over the past two decades, were all proven wrong.
“You’re going back to a fundamental question of science that when you understand a system, you are able to predict its behavior. The fact that no one predicted what’s happened in the past 18 years indicates we have a long way to go to understand the climate system,” Christy replied.
“And that the way the predictions were wrong were all to one direction, which means the predictions or the science is biased in one direction, toward overcooking the atmosphere.”
Christy added that basing government policy affecting millions of Americans on “very poor” climate models that have been shown to be inaccurate is “a fool’s errand.”
“Our ignorance is simply enormous when it comes to the climate system, and our understanding is certainly not strong and solid enough to make policy about climate because we don’t even know what it’s going to do, so how can we make a policy that says ‘I want to make the climate do something' when we don’t know what makes the climate do what it does?” he asked.
“A policy is supposed to have a goal. Well, if you don’t know how the system works, that means you don’t know how to make it go toward that goal. And that’s certainly the case now, since none of the climate models are able to tell us what the future is going to be. They’ve certainly failed in the past. And so the policy is really a fool’s errand at this point.”
However, he noted that “there is still a strong belief system that greenhouse gases control the climate, and so if that is your belief system, then it doesn’t really matter what the evidence shows.”
Christy said he has “no idea” if the Earth’s temperature will go up again in the future. “I’m a climatologist, which means I’m driving the car and looking in the rearview mirror, not out the front windshield, so I don’t try to forecast,” he told CNSNews.com.
But earlier predictions that the El Nino will drive up temperatures this year were off the mark, he says.
“There was a big pulse in what was a precursor to the El Nino back in May, and so it looked like it was going to be a very strong El Nino, but that pulse of warm water in the ocean – the heat content, actually – just faded away, basically. And so this wasn’t going to be a 1997/98 El Nino again. I don’t think they’re going to see the big spike in temperature” that was originally predicted.
“But you know, El Ninos come and go, and they shouldn’t be factored in what the overall temperature does over decades.”
Christy countered claims by some climatologists that the satellite data doesn’t show an increase in surface temperature because the "missing heat" was absorbed by the oceans.
“That would require a change in wind speeds. It also means the climate models don’t have the oceans right,” he pointed out. “The other alternative is that the heat never was stored in the climate system, and that it escaped into space. That is just as plausible.”
"I predicted this in 1999," Dr. Don Easterbrook, a climate scientist and glacier expert from Washington State, said of the 18-year period with no global warming. "My prediction has now happened."
"The same year the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) models were predicting that the Earth would warm by one degree per decade, I was predicting that the Earth would cool for the next three decades," he noted. "They were way off the mark, while my prediction is still on target."
Easterbrook added that with the sun entering a period known as a Grand Minimum, "it's a sure thing it's going to get cooler. It's just difficult to tell how much. It looks like it may get one degree cooler and maybe more," he said. "That may not seem like a lot, but it only warmed up one degree during the entire last century."
Walrus panic a lot of bunkum
The October 1, 2014 Associated Press article linking the walrus gathering to melting sea ice, lacks historical perspective and contains serious spin that would lead readers to erroneous conclusions about walruses and the climate.
[Update: Zoologist Dr. Susan Crockford weighs in: "Mass haulouts of Pacific walrus and stampede deaths are not new, not due to low ice cover - 'The attempts by WWF and others to link this event to global warming is self-serving nonsense that has nothing to do with science...this is blatant nonsense and those who support or encourage this interpretation are misinforming the public." ]
First off, walruses are not endangered. According to the New York Times, “the Pacific walrus remains abundant, numbering at least 200,000 by some accounts, double the number in the 1950s.”
The AP article titled, “35,000 walrus come ashore in northwest Alaska”, claims “the gathering of walrus on shore is a phenomenon that has accompanied the loss of summer sea ice as the climate has warmed.” The AP even includes the environmental group World Wildlife Fund, to ramp up climate hype. “It’s another remarkable sign of the dramatic environmental conditions changing as the result of sea ice loss,” said Margaret Williams, managing director of the group’s Arctic program, by phone from Washington, D.C.
The media and green groups are implying that walrus hanging out by the tens of thousands is a new phenomenon and due to melting Arctic ice. But dating back to at least the 1604, there have been reports of large walrus gatherings or haulouts.
Excerpt: “Walruses became only really known in Europe after the 1604 expedition to the Kola Peninsula of the ship “Speed” of Muscovy Company, commanded by Stephen Bennet. On the way back to England the Speed reached what some years before a Dutch expedition had named “Bear Island”. The crew of the Speed discovered a haulout numbering about a thousand walruses on the island’s northern coast.”
According to a National Geographic article in 2007, walrus populations were not endangered. See: “While scientists lack a firm population estimate for the species, researchers have encountered herds as large as 100,000 in recent years”
Even the green activists group, the WWF, admits walrus ‘hangouts’ of tens of thousands are not unprecedented. A 2009 WWF blog report noted: “WWF Polar Bear coordinator Geoff York returned on 17 September from a trip along the Russian coast and saw a haul out there with an estimated 20,000 walruses near Ryrkaipiy (on the Chukchi Peninsula).”
Are 35,000 walruses gathering in “haulouts” on the shoreline with many be stampeded to death really that unusual? The answer is No!
The AP reported on 40,000 walruses in a haulout just 7 years ago in a single location. See: AP 12/14/2007: “40,000 in one spot” – “As a result, walruses came ashore earlier and stayed longer, congregating in extremely high numbers, with herds as big as 40,000 at Point Shmidt, a spot that had not been used by walruses as a “haulout” place for a century, scientists said.”
Walrus stampede deaths drop dramatically from 3000 to 50? The October 1, 2014 AP article notes with obvious concern for the walrus species: “Observers last week saw about 50 carcasses on the beach from animals that may have been killed in a stampede…” Fifty walrus carcasses? That number is a significant improvement from 2007 when there were a reported 3000 dead walruses discovered from the late summer and fall on the Russian side of the Arctic, according to the AP’s own earlier reporting. See: 2007: ‘3,000 walruses die in stampedes tied to Climate’
Are walrus stampede deaths declining in recent years? It is difficult to say based on reports, but a high of 3000 deaths in 2007 (for a whole season) to a low of 50 deaths in 2014 for a single location, but it does not appear to be an alarming trend.
Why does the AP fail to put any historical perspective on their climate scare stories, especially when the AP’s own reporting from 7 years ago calls into question their claims?
The next issue is whether or not sea ice extent is critical to walruses in late summer and fall. According to this report, ice extent is not critical. As Nelson noted in 2007: “When I read this in the (2007) ‘walrus’ Wikipedia entry, I’m also not convinced that lack of summer ice is necessarily a big deal.”
2007 Wikipedia entry: “In the non-reproductive season (late summer and fall) walruses tend to migrate away from the ice and form massive aggregations of tens of thousands of individuals on rocky beaches or outcrops.” [Note: This line has been omitted from the Wikipedia entry in 2014]
Walrus stampede deaths benefit polar bears
In addition, a 2007 WWF post inadvertently noted that the carcasses of stampeded walruses may actually be a great benefit to polar bears.
“Last fall some 20,000-30,000 animals were piled up there. No one has actually counted them all, but the Vankarem residents are certain the number is growing…In early winter, when the ice is re-forming and walruses leave the beach, up to 100 carcasses remain behind. These blubbery animals offer a perfect meal for wandering and hungry polar bears…In mid-November, a truck driver alerted the patrol to bear tracks on the beach. The wave had begun. For the next three weeks, bears making their way along the coast stopped to graze on the carcasses at this so-called “feeding point” instead of proceeding to the village. At one time alone, Sergey and his team counted 96 bears feeding on the walrus. In total they estimated that 185 bears had been circulating with a six mile radius around the village.”
The stampeded remains of 100 walruses fed up to 185 polar bears!
But despite the easily accessible historical data on walruses, the WWF and the AP and other media in 2014, continue to spin the haulouts as evidence of “climate change.”
Could living near a wind farm make you DEAF? Low frequency 'hum' could damage the inner ear, experts warn
Wind farms could cause people living nearby to go deaf, a new study claims.
The barely audible low frequency hum emitted by turbines harms ‘the exquisite mechanics of our inner ears’, scientists say.
A study of 21 healthy young men and women who were exposed to such sound, revealed that most experienced changes in cells in the cochlear - a spiral shaped cavity essential for hearing and balance.
Researchers measured the changes by analysing Spontaneous Otoacoustic Emissions (SOAEs), which are the faint sounds produced in the ear that can detect changes to its physiology.
Dr Marcus Drexel, of the University of Munich, said man-made sources of low frequency noise have spread dramatically in recent years and are also generated by thermal power stations, ventilation and air conditioning systems.
‘The dogma of “what you can’t hear, won’t hurt you” is deeply rooted in society and governs the current health and safety regulations,’ he said.
‘However, while even loud low frequency sounds are not perceived as obtrusive, our findings show such sounds affect the exquisite mechanics of our inner ears in a significant manner.
‘Our study identifies a mechanism in our hearing system, which can contribute to explain conditions associated with low-frequency sound emissions.’
Scientists found that most of the healthy adults who they exposed to the sound - a low frequency wavelength of 30Hz - experienced changes in cells in the cochlea.
In the study, the participants were exposed to a low frequency wavelength of 30Hz for 90 seconds, to mimic the noise generated a wind turbine.
The noise was well below health and safety regulations, according to the paper, which was published in the journal Royal Society Open Science.
Humans can have a hearing range of between 20 and 20,000Hz.
Dr Drexel said: ‘Most interestingly, 17 of the 21 subjects revealed an overall of 56 new SOAEs, which had not been measurable before low frequency stimulation.’
For decades, experts thought that sound lower than 250Hz largely bypassed the inner ear even at intense levels, because thresholds are relatively high. But this could be incorrect.
Dr Drexel said: ‘The current data show in humans, active cochlear mechanics, as assessed by SOAE measurements, are significantly affected by low frequency stimulation.
‘To the best of our knowledge, this is the first comprehensive study focusing on the effect of low frequency sound on level and frequency of human SOAEs.’
Wind farms have also been linked with a greater risk of heart disease, panic attacks and migraines.
The farms are said to cause ‘wind turbine syndrome’, the symptoms of which include tinnitus, vertigo and sleep deprivation.
It is thought that thousands of people are super sensitive to low frequency sounds which are produced by factory machinery and transport as well as household items such as fridges and boilers.
The wind industry has been accused of ignoring the damaging impact of the intermittent noise from turbines for 25 years. A 1987 research paper for the US Department of Energy showed the ‘annoyance’ caused by them to nearby residents was ‘real not imaginary’.
EPA: Hurting poor families most
News for low-income households facing another brutal winter in New England is again bleak. One of the largest energy providers in the region announced recently that energy costs for a typical household could top $150 a month this winter — a 37 percent increase over just last year.
For many poorer families, that $40 per month increase will force a choice between purchasing enough food to feed a cold family or warming the bedrooms they return to — malnourished, or suffering otherwise from a lack of household resources to fund Obama’s jihad on affordable energy.
Yet not a sentence of concern has been uttered from the environmental alarmists in the Obama administration and its radical EPA as the poor disproportionately carry the burden of “green energy.”
“Green energy,” named for invoking images of green in nature, is defined by the EPA as energy “whose generation has zero/negligible environmental impacts.” But the human toll for the “zero/ negligible environmental impacts” of this energy is yet uncharacterized. Perhaps images of the inefficient energy options that force blue-lipped children to sleep in unheated bedrooms would be more aptly labeled “blue energy.”
EPA head — and, ironically enough, Massachusetts native — Gina McCarthy has presided over the Obama administration’s assault on New England’s poor.
Under McCarthy, regulations have killed the future of affordable coal-fired energy, inexpensive natural gas development is at risk, and once-alternative options are now more limited than ever before in recent memory — highlighted by the 80 percent of traditional wood stoves (as in, burning wood for heat … if it gets more “green” than that, let me know) now banned by the EPA from production and sale in the United States.
I write this as a transplanted New England native, who grew up three miles down a dirt road in a log home with a wood stove (that’s now illegal to manufacture) to supplement home heating expenses. The neighbors who already struggle through the winter months to make ends meet now face the unnecessary, expensive consequences of Obama’s policies.
It is on the backs of these New England families the EPA is pursuing its radical mission to kill efficient energy production, masked by the unproven, abstract goal of clean air and cool temperatures — both things New Englanders actually possesses in excess.
But, realistically, who actually cares? New Englanders vote reliably with the party of environmental radicalism and the poor families suffering most couldn’t afford to scratch a check to a Super PAC or take a Saturday to campaign if they wanted to.
If energy prices are ever to stop increasing year over year, the people of New England and the rest of the American people must decide if they’re willing to make abundantly clear to those holding elected office that the well-being of families comes before any political agenda — and that statement must start now.
Martha Coakley and Mike Michaud, the Democrat candidates for Governor in Massachusetts and Maine respectively, each hold long, uncompromised records supporting Obama’s “blue energy” agenda, along with dozens of candidates from each state. If the people of New England and the United States want to send a message about the well-being of themselves and their neighbors to Washington and state capitols like Boston and Augusta, the loudest megaphone opens at 7:00 a.m. on November 4.
California drought and climate warming: Studies find no clear link
Global warming contributed to extreme heat waves in many parts of the world last year, but cannot be definitively linked to the California drought, according to a report released Monday.
The third annual analysis of extreme weather events underscored the continuing difficulty of teasing out the influence of human-caused climate change on precipitation patterns.
One of three studies examining the California drought in 2013 found that the kind of high-pressure systems that blocked winter storms last year have increased with global warming.
But another study concluded that a long-term rise in sea surface temperatures in the western Pacific did not contribute substantially to the drought. And researchers noted that California precipitation since 1895 has "exhibited no appreciable downward trend."
Overall, the report editors concluded that the papers didn't demonstrate that global warming clearly influenced the drought, which is one of the worst in the state record.
In the report, published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 20 research teams explored the causes of 16 extreme weather events recorded in 2013, including torrential downpours in Colorado, heat waves in Korea and Australia and a blizzard in South Dakota.
The studies overwhelmingly showed that human-caused climate change played a role in the heat waves, in some cases making them 10 times more likely.
But the report editors wrote that "natural variability likely played a much larger role in the extreme precipitation events," whether it was flooding in India, deep snow in the Spanish Pyrenees Mountains or the California drought.
Last year's exceedingly dry winter in California was largely the result of a stubborn high pressure system parked over the northeastern Pacific Ocean. Nicknamed the Ridiculously Resilient Ridge, by Stanford University researcher Daniel Swain, the system shunted winter storms far to the north, off their normal path to California.
Those sorts of high-pressure systems "are considerably more likely to occur” with global warming, said Swain, lead author of one of the three California papers. “It suggests an increased likelihood of the kinds of large-scale atmospheric conditions that are conducive to drought in California,” he added.
But Marty Hoerling, co-editor of the climate report and a research meteorologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, noted that high-pressure systems have increased everywhere. What drives storms is the difference in atmospheric pressure over the north and south Pacific, he said, and that was not examined in the Swain paper.
Researchers concluded in a third paper that while long-term warming contributes to storm-diverting high-pressure systems over the northeast Pacific, that is countered by an increase in atmospheric humidity that can promote wetter weather in California.
Comparing the periods of 1871-1970 with 1980-2013, the authors wrote that there was "no appreciable long-term change in the risk for dry climate extremes over California since the late 19th century."
For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.
Preserving the graphics: Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere. But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases. After that they no longer come up. From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site. See here or here
Posted by JR at 1:36 AM